Introduction: Large Storage Crate

About: Patrick Waters is an award-winning educator who brings the Maker Movement to new audiences. He founded The STEAMworks, a makerspace for individuals with neurological differences at The Monarch Institute in Ho…

This Week in the Shop we make a storage crate suitable to store a large pinewood derby track. This crate is simple to build and made out of very cheap materials. As built, this crate costs roughly $75 per crate in plywood and hardware supplies.

This project can be attempted by the beginner, but also offers rewards for the intermediate and experienced craftsperson. This crate modifies easily for a variety of purposes, such as anything that needs serious customizable storage like as oddly-shaped tools, artwork, sports equipment, camping equipment, etc. For example this crate would store a kayak or canoe for long-term storage and transport easily.

You can find plans at They also sell the a fantastic aluminum Derby track and gate kit which makes the Pinewood Derby a breeze to set-up, execute and take down.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

The Storage CrateMaterials:

Per crate:

  • 2 full sheets of plywood, 8 foot x 4 foot by ½ in
  • 1 section of 2x2x8’, construction grade pine
  • 1 section of 1x4x8, common white pine
  • #10-½” screws or construction screws or machine bolts, washers and nuts.
  • 4 utility handles 5 ½” or 6” wide


  • Impact drill and drill driver with bits
  • Clamps
  • Circular saw and guide
  • Tape Measure
  • Combination Square

Step 2: Milling and Dimensioning

Milling and Dimensioning:
  1. Use a circular and saw and guide cut down plywood to size following best cut list. If you do not have a circular saw or the proper space, most home centers will cut plywood to size free of charge.
  2. Cut the corner bracing to size at the miter saw.
  3. Trim the 1x4 to 86” length at the miter saw.
  4. Trim your hardwood floor straps to length at the miter saw.

Step 3: Assembly

  1. Fasten the short ends to the corner bracing using construction screws and impact drill with appropriate bit. Use a drill with a small drill bit to create a pilot hole in minimize any splitting.
  2. Clamp the corner braces onto the long sides and fasten with construction screws.
  3. Clamp the support rail to the side and fasten with screws.
  4. Position the bottom onto the assembly and secure with construction screws.
  5. Attach your floor straps with construction screws.
  6. Flip the assembly onto its side. Mark the location of the hinges, 30” from each side.[gallery ids="5930,5931" type="rectangular"]
  7. Using a scrap piece of plywood as a spacer, position to hinge for installation. Use construction screws or machine bolts to install the hinge in the correct placement.[gallery ids="5932,5933" type="rectangular"]
  8. Flip the assembly on to its base, and position the top for installation. Install the hinges to the top with construction screws.[gallery ids="5934,5935" type="rectangular"]
  9. Use a reciprocating saw and blade, angle grinder and cut off wheel, rotary tool or hacksaw to trim any protruding screws or bolts.
  10. Mark a centerline 6” from the top of the assembled storage crate on each end. Mark a cross line 4” in from either side to locate the hinges.[gallery ids="5937,5938" type="rectangular"]
  11. Eyeball handle location and install with impact drive and construction screws. Trim bolts if necessary.
  12. Sand, paint and finish as necessary.

Thank you for your continued support.

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